Record number of guests attend Personal Injury Awards

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A record 500 guests attended the tenth annual Eclipse Proclaim Personal Injury Awards in Manchester last night.

The 2017 Eclipse Proclaim Personal Injury Awards recognised the industry’s battle for greater access to justice and care.

The awards took place at the Hilton Manchester Deansgate. The black-tie event was organised by Barker Brooks Communications, the publisher of Claims Media.

Switalskis Solicitors and its team won three awards, including Claimant Personal Injury Team of the Year.

Judge Frank Burton QC, of 12 King’s Bench Walk, said the Switalskis team “has been at the forefront of managing sexual and physical abuses against children for a whole generation”.

He said: “In achieving not only justice for these victims, they’ve managed to change the whole of the legal landscape in areas of both limitation law and the law of vicarious liability.”

“In doing so, they’ve achieved compensation not only for their clients, but have caused these areas of law to be better for claimants in all areas of personal injury.”

David Greenwood, who leads the Switalskis child abuse compensation team, was named Claimant Personal Injury Lawyer of the Year in recognition for his work in this area, while Janet Baker, who heads up the firm’s clinical negligence team in Sheffield, was crowned Clinical Negligence Lawyer of the Year.

Commenting on Baker, Michael Redfern QC, of St Johns Buildings Barristers Chambers, said: “A combination of an exceptional case load, mentoring, management and trusteeship in conductive education, led to a unanimous winner [in Janet Baker].”

Hilary Meredith, of Hilary Meredith Solicitors, won the Outstanding Achievement award.

Meredith has “campaigned tirelessly for major policy reform in the way that military personnel are handled when they’ve suffered from post-traumatic stress disorders and other psychological injuries”, according to judging panel chair Deborah Evans, who is chief executive of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers.

“She has fought ceaselessly to ensure that they get the support they need and that mental health is no longer stigmatised amongst the military and, importantly, she has campaigned for the removal of the Iraq Historic Allegations Team, which did a disservice to so many military personnel.”

Maggie Sargent was another big winner, picking up the Lifetime Achievement award for her 30 years of service in dealing with personal injury and medical negligence claims for both claimants and defendants. Maggie Sargent & Associates was also named Medicolegal Provider of the Year.

The rest of the judging panel for the 2017 Eclipse Proclaim Personal Injury Awards included: Laurence Besemer, CEO of the Forum of Insurance Lawyers; Paul Nicholls, senior partner at Nicholls Brimble; Michael Stubbs, practice director at Parklane Plowden Chambers; Helen Merfield, managing director at Plexus HealthCare; Charles Layfield, board director, head of legal and company secretary at Minster Law (part of the BHL UK Group); and Stephen Webber, partner and head of both the clinical negligence department and claimant division at Hugh James Solicitors.

Comedian and writer Hal Cruttenden, who has appeared on Mock the Week, Live At The Apollo and Have I Got News for You, hosted the 2017 Eclipse Proclaim Personal Injury Awards, which was attended by guests from across the personal injury sector, and the country.

Photos from the Eclipse Proclaim Personal Injury Awards will be available to view on the Claims Media website soon.

The full list of winners from the 2017 Eclipse Proclaim Personal Injury Awards:

Claimant Personal Injury Lawyer of the Year: David Greenwood, Switalskis

Defendant Personal Injury Team of the Year: BC Legal

Claimant Personal Injury Team of the Year: Switalskis

Barristers’ Chambers of the Year: 39 Essex Street

Clinical Negligence Team of the Year: Hill Dickinson

Clinical Negligence Lawyer of the Year: Janet Baker, Switalskis

Mediation Achiever of the Year: Quentin Smith

Rehab Provider of the Year: CBT Clinics

Claims Management Company of the Year: First4Lawyers

Medicolegal Provider of the Year: Maggie Sargent & Associates

Insurance Provider of the Year: Allianz Legal Protection

Supporting the Industry Award: Trevor Gilbert & Associates

Young Achiever of the Year: Tom Hunt, ARAG Legal Services

Practice/Operations Manager of the Year: Julie Orton, Simpson Millar

Marketing Campaign of the Year: Minster Law

Outstanding Case of the Year: Hill Dickinson

Outstanding Achievement: Hilary Meredith, Hilary Meredith Solicitors

Lifetime Achievement: Maggie Sargent, Maggie Sargent & Associates

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